Many individuals in California who have made mistakes in their past often want to just move on. Unfortunately, if authorities have arrested you or you faced a conviction for criminal charges, putting that situation behind you may not be as easy as you would hope. Though you have done your best to stay out of trouble since the conviction, you still face many roadblocks as you try to get back into society.
In particular, your criminal record may have already had a major effect on your ability to get a job. Though you may want to work and find ways to support yourself, prospective employers may have seen the mark on your criminal record and decided not to hire you. Additionally, you may have applied for an apartment or other housing only to face a denial because of your criminal record. It likely seems as if you face continual punishment for a past mistake.
You are not alone
Unfortunately, this type of issue affects numerous individuals with criminal convictions and some who have had charges dismissed or were otherwise not convicted. In fact, approximately 8 million of the 40 million residents in the state have arrests or convictions on their criminal reports. These marks can remain on a person’s criminal record for outside parties to see unless those records are sealed or expunged.
When an employer, landlord or other similar party sees those marks, your enthusiasm for reentering society may come crashing down if you face a denial of opportunities. If you hope to have your record expunged or sealed, you could have to jump through various legal hoops. However, some lawmakers are hoping to make the process easier.
Changes in law
Earlier this year, there was a bill proposal that would allow for the automatic sealing of criminal records for individuals who go two years without any additional trouble with the law once they complete the legal obligations of their conviction. Those obligations could include the successful completion of any sentencing, parole or probation. Sealed arrests occur when they do not result in a conviction.
Because laws change often, it is wise to stay updated on changes that could affect your personal situation. In the event that you hope to find post-conviction relief, you may want to thoroughly explore your options and determine whether sealing your record or expungement could be a viable possibility.